Reaching for the stars, Australian artist Lindy Lee will create her first immersive public sculpture, Ouroboros.
With a practice spanning more than four decades, Brisbane-born Lee uses her work to explore her Chinese ancestry through Taoism and Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism – philosophies that see humanity and nature as inextricably linked.
Ouroboros is based on the ancient image of a snake eating its own tail, seen across culture and millennia, it is the symbol of eternal return, of cycles of birth and death, and renewal. Located at the entrance of the National Gallery, people will be able enter the ‘mouth’ of the sculpture and walk into the curved space to experience darkness that is illuminated by light beams emanating from the hundreds of perforations on its surface.
During the day its highly polished mirror surface will reflect the imagery of the floating world, the transience of passers-by, cars, birds in flight, and passing clouds. At night the Ouroboros will be lit internally, returning its light to the world.
Lindy Lee: Ouroboros has been commissioned in celebration of the National Gallery’s upcoming 40th birthday and is due to be completed in early 2024.
“The Ouroboros will become a beacon. Daytime or nighttime, it's going to pulse with light and energy.” – Lindy Lee
The National Gallery of Australia acknowledges the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples, the traditional custodians of the Canberra region, and recognises their continuous connection to culture, community and Country.